UBE2S activates NF-κB signaling by binding with IκBα and promotes metastasis of lung adenocarcinoma cells

Jhih Yun Ho, Hsin Ying Lu, Hsing Hsien Cheng, Yu Chieh Kuo, Yu Lin Amy Lee, Chia Hsiung Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Nuclear factor (NF)-κB signaling in cancer cells has been reported to be involved in tumorigenesis. Phosphorylation and degradation of inhibitor of NF-κBα (IκBα) is a canonical pathway of NF-κB signaling. Here, we aimed to identify and characterize noncanonical activation of NF-κB signaling by ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme E2S (UBE2S) in lung adenocarcinoma cells. Methods: TCGA and the Human Atlas Protein Database were used to analyze the survival rate of lung adenocarcinoma patients in conjunction with UBE2S expression. In addition, PC9, H460, H441 and A549 lung adenocarcinoma cells were used in this study. PC9 and H460 cells were selected for further analysis because they expressed different UBE2S protein levels. Specific IKK inhibitors, PS1145 and SC514, were used to assess IκBα phosphorylation. Western blot analysis was used to assess protein levels in PC9 and H460 cells. A scratch wound-healing assay was used to analyze the migrative abilities of PC9 and H460 cells. Overexpression and knockdown of UBE2S in H460 and PC9 cells were used to analyze their effects on downstream protein levels. Immunoprecipitation, immunofluorescent staining, glutathione S transferase (GST) pull-down and in vitro binding assays were used to analyze the interaction between UBE2S and IκBα. A luciferase assay was used to analyze activation of NF-κB signaling regulated by UBE2S. An in vivo zebrafish xenograft model was used to assess metastasis of PC9 cells regulated by UBE2S. Results: We found that UBE2S expression in lung adenocarcinoma patients was negatively related to survival rate. The protein level of UBE2S was higher in PC9 cells than in H460 cells, which was opposite to that observed for IκBα. PC9 cells showed a higher UBE2S expression and migrative ability than H460 cells. Phosphorylation of IκBα was not changed by treatment with the IKK-specific inhibitors PS1145 and SC514 in PC9 and H460 cells. Overexpression and knockdown of UBE2S in H460 and PC9 cells revealed that the protein levels of IκBα were inversely regulated. Immunoprecipitation, immunofluorescent staining, GST pull-down and in vitro binding assays revealed direct binding of UBE2S with IκBα. Nuclear P65 protein levels and luciferase assays showed that NF-κB signaling was regulated by UBE2S. The expression of epithelial-to-mesenchymal (EMT) markers and the migrative ability of lung adenocarcinoma cells were also regulated by UBE2S. A zebrafish xenograft tumor model showed a reduction in the metastasis of PC9 cells that was induced by UBE2S knockdown. Conclusions: Higher UBE2S expression in lung adenocarcinomas may lead to increased binding with IκBα to activate NF-κB signaling and promote adenocarcinoma cell metastasis. UBE2S may serve as a potential therapeutic target for lung adenocarcinomas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1325-1338
Number of pages14
JournalCellular Oncology
Volume44
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • IκBα
  • lung adenocarcinoma
  • metastasis
  • NF-κB
  • UBE2S

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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